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i'll be back. i'll be back. >>♪[singing] ("carnival" by natalie merchant) well i've walked these streets, a virtual stage, a scene to me. makeup on their faces, actors to their places next to me. well, i've walked these streets in a carnival of sights to see. all the cheap thrill seekers vendors, and the dealers.
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they crowded around me. have i been blind? have i been lost inside myself and my own mind, hypnotized, >> michael: this is "the war room," i'm michael shure. coming up tonight it's true that all politics are local, but
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someone might want to remind washington of that. [♪ theme music ♪] >> michael: it was a busy day on the political front jfshgs and we're going to get to all of this, but i'm fascinated by the rise and fall of jesse jackson, jr., and that's where we're going to start. the former illinois democratic congressman is going to prison. today he pleaded guilty to taking $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use. items such as a $43,000 rolex, fur capes, and memorabilia from michael jackson and bruce lee. the list goes on and most of it so ridiculous. outside of the courtroom,
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jackson said tell everybody back home i'm sorry. he could spend up to four years nine months in prison. he is scheduled to be sentenced on june 28th. so what happens to his snaet >> next tuesday voters will go to the poll to select his replacement. it is a primary so the democratic candidate is likely to be a shoe in. the super pac spending a reported $2 billion to defeat debbie halvorson. here is one of the adds. >> halvorson received an a-plus rating from the nra. debbie halvorson's record more guns in the hands of criminals. >> halvorson who lost to jackson
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in last year's primary says it's ridiculous that bloomberg is trying to buy the race. she posted that quote . . . and we're going to bring in "chicago tribune" report bill ruthart on that. he'll tell us how today's plea deals are playing out in chicago. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> michael: what is the reaction in chicago? >> well, the reaction today is -- is not really one of any shock. i mean folks here have been hearing for months that jackson was under federal investigation. we have known for quite a few days some of the details of his wrongdoing. it's kind of more of the same. we knew of the $4,000 michael
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jackson fedora and some of the memorabilia purchased today, it's just more of those details. $7,000 for two stuffed elk heads. the $40,000 rolex watch. all the way down to purchasing toilet paper at costco. it is really pretty remarkable to see how such a well-known politician used his campaign credit card basically to live off of. >> michael: it bogles my mind. how is jackson effecting and his efforts affecting the race to replace him? >> maybe not as much as you might things. certainly halvorson has raised the issue. the state senate for positioned her before dropping out on
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sunday. the spending by mayor bloomberg has certainly drawn a lot of at attention, but i think you know halvorson and some in the race are trying to use today's guilty plea as a way to you know -- to turn the conversation back to ethical concerns. >> michael: but, you know, gun issue or not, very quickly wouldn't halvorson still have been hurt by her position on guns? >> halvorson does have no, ma'am good name id coming in, but the district does go further south in the rural areas, but in the city of chicago that gun stance is going to be a issue for her. >> michael: yeah, would imagine. bill thank you so much for being on "the war room" with us tonight. the nra is pulling a page from bloomberg's play book to
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pressure pro-gun senator up for reelection next year. the king of the gun lobby is taking out full age adds in states with democratic senators all up in 2014. the ads will also show up in maine. roll call reports that the campaign will cost more than $375,000. the real costs will be the lives lost if gun safety reform though, doesn't get through congress. i remind you in the 68 days since the mass shooting at sandy hook elementary school, 1,999 americans have died as a result of gun violence. that's about 77 newtowns since newtown. now the skwir mish over the sequester. today the president sat down for interviews with at it local tv stations to make his case that the $85 billion in cuts can be
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averted. the interviews will air from boston to san francisco, to honolulu, in markets that are homes to large military commune tease or homes to his liberal base of supporters. leave it to republican house speaker john baner to deliver the republican's message. in a wall street journal op-ed boehner wrote . . . hold on speaker boehner. let's not forget barely anything can get through congress without your republicans blocking it. plus you did help to start this mess back in 2011. we have nine days until the sequester cuts go into effect. later we'll get the latest from juana summers of "politico." this morning the republican
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national committee emailed its supporters and introduced max baucus gave to billings television station just yesterday. >> the white house recommended it, frankly, back in august of 2011, so now we're feeling the effects of it. i don't want to say the president is solely to blame. he is not. it's basically the president and the speaker who put together this deal. >> michael: sorry reince preibus, but to us it sounds like speaker baner is also involved. i guess the rnc figures their audience tunes out after ten seconds. a polling survey shows baucus in trouble among democratic voters in his state. he leads 54-35. between the sequester cuts and the gun safety debate firefighters and police officers are becoming common place at the
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white house for political purposes. i'm happy to report that is not the case with this story. today the vice president biden awarded the medal of valor to 18 distinguished men and women. four of the resipingents died in the line of duty. >> thank god for you. you are from different backgrounds but you are the glue that binds commune tease together at time of stress. >> michael: and we second a sir sere thank you too from this war room. and there's a new player in the sports arena naming game and they do not mess around. the geo group, a private prison corporation purchased the naming rights to florida atlantic's sports arena.
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a sign of the growing influence and the name of a national industry. they will jam thousands of hot drunk floridians in to watch a violent sport seems like a good way to drum up a few more jailbirds. coming up juana summers will tell us where the sequester cuts will hit the hardest plus 50 years since i have a dream, since thes as that nation of medgar efers. but some of the rights gains are not immune from attack. and later if tea party rhetoric strikes you as something you would hear at a professional wrestle match, you are not alone. you might even qualify as a talent scout.
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with twizzlers the twist you can't resist. alright, in 15 minutes we're going to do the young turks. i think the number one thing that viewers like about the young turks is that we're honest. they know that i'm not bs'ing them with some hidden agenda, actually supporting one party or the other. when the democrats are wrong, they know that i'm going to be the first one to call them out. they can question whether i'm right, but i think that the audience gets that this guy, to the best of his ability, is trying to look out for us.
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>> michael: with congress still unable to reach a budget deal, the sequester cuts loom large and while congress mayet get blamed, but it could be democrats who would suffer. because it could out gut many of the president's big second term goals. first up immigration. here is homeland security secretary talking on thursday about what the cuts would mean for her department. >> put simply the automatic budget reduction mandated would be restrictive to our nation's security and to our economy. cbp would have to furlough all of its employees reduce overtime, and eliminate hiring to back-fill positions. >> michael: in all, homeland
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security would lose 5,000 agents. that is a big deal. next up, gun control. the president wants universal background checks but a sequester would make such a system difficult to enact would it would mean cuts in agents and federal attorneys. and then there is education. the president has called for universal preschooling but the sequester would slash $400 million from head start and that means nearly 63,000 children would be dropped from the program. the republicans outlook seems to be, if we can break the economy now, we have bought the presidency in 2016. joining me now is juana summers, she comes to us from washington, d.c. welcome back inside "the war room." >> thanks for having me back.
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>> michael: so how damaging actually will these cuts be to the president's second term agenda. >> it's important to note when you talk about sequestration it touches every part of the american economy, big prior advertise that the president just outlined in his state of union address. >> michael: so when i hear you say that and when i think about what the effect might be on the president, i wonder if this is a set up. is this mitch mcconnell saying i'm going to set this economy up to fail. i want to hurt the president and see him not succeed and see democrats not move forward. is some of that in play here? >> i think it's fair to say that the republican leadership have certainly dug their heels in now, if you listen to john boehner saying i agree with secretary panetta that
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sequestration would be damaging. but they are saying this is the president's invention. >> michael: it's good public relations, but the president comes in with something like 52% approval rating at his last polling and congress is so low. doesn't the president have a little more to lose here? >> he does absolutely. if you look at this week no members of congress are in session this week. they are having townhalls they are doing speeches they are talk about -- there are very few people from the small towns of america that don't know what sequestration means anymore. so there is a lot to lose for the president. and i think everybody has a lot at play here if we don't find a way to avert these cuts. and it looks likely in the next nine days.
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>> michael: yeah it does seem like every deal or any deal going forward for the immediate future of american politics. how will average americans feel these cuts? can the president get away with you know, letting people have the sequester happen? but get away with having people thwart way? >> certainly everyone will feel it. military-heavy districts, in virginia bobby said he felt like his district would feel an impact much like the recession of several years ago. this will touch every single part of the economy. so i think you'll hear a lot of public outcry and that is something that the obama administration is counting on. he is take this straight to the american people as are republicans, so you are seeing -- you are not seeing a lot of closed door negotiationing, you seeing it
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coming out front of the american people. >> michael: and they are going to have to decide on congress before they decide on 2014 so 2014 looms a little larger. today lee i don't know panetta said he would have to put his employees on unpaid leave. what would that mean for our national security. >> that hit won't come immediately, but if you listen to the joint chiefs of staff air force, army those who event all of the branches of the military came up to capitol hill and they said they can't accept one more dollar of cuts and still manage to do the missions they are doing for national security as they are doing them right now. despite we have the drawdowns of iraq and afghanistan ending
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there are new threats of cyber security. there are new priorities that they are trying to tackle and that might make their jobs a little bit harder. >> michael: the republican senator tom coburn has identified some areas that could be cut. i mean listen to some of these . . . so, you know, it makes me think maybe somebody has a point here. >> i mean there is absolutely a point to be made. i have talked to a number of republicans who sat on the committees and they agree, of course there is some trimming to be done particularly since you're seeing the ends of the
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very costly conflicts for the united states. but there are cuts that will be damaging cut. >> michael: i'mture chuck hagel would like one of those pentagon-brewed beers. let's talk about hagel. he is calling for cuts to the defense budget. republicans have just skewed him with it. and how will he do with that? >> there is some concern in how chuck hagel will work with those on capitol hill. you have heard the chairman of the house armed services committee say he doesn't want chuck hagel to be confirmed. he think president obama needs to put up someone new. but it is likely he will be confirmed in a very hostile,
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tense environment where he is working in the constraints of the military. >> michael: and you can see it happening. juana summers defense reporter for "politico." thanks for being in "the war room." >> thank you. >> michael: up next, when last we left the meddling koch brothers their scheme to overtake democracy has been foiled. but they were bound to pop up again in the next season. stick around. you would rather deal with ahmadinejad than me. >>absolutely. >> and so would mitt romney. (vo) she's joy behar. >>and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking?
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♪ >> michael: watch out progressives, the billionaire koch brothers have been quiet following their loss in the last election, but they are definitely not gone in fact they are just regrouping. they are dismanteling their group americans for postparity and they are starting a group called the association for american innovation, it's an innocuous sounding name for an pretty insidious group. they plan to push laws at the local level. things like union busting, eliminating the income tax and gutting environmental regulation. and this group is a special kind of nonprofit, a 501c-4 which
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means it will only take funding from corporations, an exclusively corporate-backed group. we may have won the battle of 2012, but the war still rages on. joining me is columnist david sirota. he comes to us from david colorado, welcome back inside "the war room," david. >> thanks for having me. >> michael: what does this say about the republican strategy? will we see more at the state level politics than the national level? >> for years the republican party and the conservative movement has invested in the local level. so i think what we're seeing with the koch brothers in particular is a kind of back to basics for the conservative movement, it is something that progressives have been debated on. we have done a better job in recent years of focusing more locally, but i think there is
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this problem in politics where it's easy to get obsessed with the national but for real years and decades the conservative movement has focused all the way down to the dog-catching level. >> michael: in a strange kind of way, they are really the grassroots builders. they start from the very bottom and see it mature and grow up and that is very dangerous when you think of what kind of legislation they are trying to push through. president obama has formed another 501c-4. >> there is a dis -- distinction between a presidential candidate and a movement organization.
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turning a campaign organized around the personality of one politician trying to turn that into an organization that is focused on issues and principles. that's a hard conversion and i think that one of the problems on the left right now is con flating movement-building with a campaign for a particular politician. the difference is when you build a movement you are willing to hold any politician's feet to the fire. you can't have it both ways. you can't have a candidate organization that is also masquerading as a movement you have to make a choice. >> michael: i guess there is a feeling that you can't get any of those things done unless you have the candidate in office. so i think democrats have started to say we have to elect the presidents senators whoever it is in order to get these things through, and that's what republicans are starting to see. but let's move to another issue, and we'll get back to cults of
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personality in a second, but the progressives are fired up about drones right now. and a new study finds that liberals are much more acceptable of drones when they are told it's an obama policy. >> that goes back to what we were just talking about, this idea that movements, that citizenship is effectively organized around individual politicians. so in that study you see that on the principle of the drone war and of a president asserting the right to execute american citizens, on the principle, without knowing the politics of the situation, many liberals say that not necessarily acceptable but once the politician is invoked, because our politicians are so organized around individual politicians suddenly the position on the principle changes. i think this is a disturbing commentary. as a citizen, how do you
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organize your own activism? do you organize it exclusively around a politician or around a set of principles? >> michael: yeah it's interesting. the whole idea -- because it's a damned if you do damned if you don't. you can't get anything done unless you have your man or woman in the office but do you just follow them blindly, and i think that's what is happening to a lot of liberals and democrats who don't pay close at attention. >> let me interject some history. you had a democratic party or at least a set of liberal movements back during the vietnam war that was willing to go up against a democratic president in order to end the war. the political analysis could be well in the anti-war movement going after linden johnson that hurt the democratic party but it also ended one of the worst
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wars in our country's history, and we have to ask the question what is more important the political ends or actually the policy ends. >> michael: right. but we could have this conversation for a while, because people who were against the war but really liked what johnson was doing at home were saying i don't want to sacrifice because i like what he is doing on a civil rights basis. but i understand what you are saying. let's talk about the environment. last week 40,000 people protested the keystone pipeline while president obama was golfing with two oil men. they likely benefit from keystone. now if george bush did that, it would be a different story. do progressives back the environmental policy here just because it's coming from him? >> i think that was good news that there is a part of the progressive movement that is
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willing to stand up to this president and go out and protest outside of the white house where he occupies. i think when the keystone decision comes down the pike and there has been a lot of really good organizationing saying you need to make the right decision on this. i think the aftermath of that decision, if the president makes the decision to allow the pipeline, i think the aftermath will be telling. where will the progressive movement be if there is a bad decision? will it say this is not acceptable? or will it go along the get-along? >> michael: yeah, and whether the president also balances out the pipeline with the environmental effects. david sirota good to see you. up next, i'm almost starting to feel sorry to karl rove, but he
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♪ >> michael: it's family feud, but i'm not richard dawson in a searing op-ed publiced today in human events newt gingrich blasted gop strategist karl rove for his efforts to define the gop. he wrote . . . this the guy who took money from sheldon adelson. here is what he said this morning. >> there are some very deep rethinking we need to do as a party, but it isn't gathering up
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more money by washington consultants. >> michael: for the latest on the wars being waged on the battlefield we turn to christine pelosi, chair of the california democratic party women's caucus. i love hearing newt gingrich talk about the hype onning aresy that exists in his head. >> here is what we know the american people by a vast majority not only picked president obama but picked a progressive platform. that's what they did. they voted for a democratic president, democratic senate and democratic house. and so as the republicans take a look amongst themselves it's not matter of get a better billionaire. >> michael: yeah, and these older elephants literally and figuratively, they are not the
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ones who will decide the fate of the party, so i'm curious as to what you make of this insiding. i mean predict a winner for me here. >> unfortunately the losers are the american people. because you have these corporate conservatives who stop at nothing to enact their legislation state by state by state. it is easier to buy up a small state or a congressional race. so we will still be the losers if we don't identify where the secret money is coming from, fight it, and then get out and organize to win. >> michael: i was talking to david sirota about the cult of personality. a lot of it -- the petty stuff doesn't really matter. so we look at a quinnipiac poll showing chris christie with a sky-high record breaking
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approval at 74%. so it makes you wonder is he the face of the republican party? >> we might call that the sandy effect. so you can look at that and say that's because chris christie walked on the beach with barack obama, and did him some favorites amongment democrats to be less likely to oppose him, particularly now that cory booker is running for senate instead of governor. >> michael: exactly. but i go back to the hilary question, the same poll found that if a presidential election were held today between hillary clinton and governor chris christie, 49% would vote for clinton, while 45 would vote for
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christie. >> hillary clinton if she wants to run will be the next president of the united states. the question is will she run? and she's attracting a new generation of people particularly women who are so excited about the prospects of having a woman president. we believe that she is the one. so as i said her before on the show, hilary if you are watching, run. >> michael: a lot of people were saying it. i think the excitement over the first woman president would be obviously multiplyied. but let's say she doesn't run, who would be the standard barer to that? >> you have to go out there and make your mark. and on that point i brought you a little something -- >> michael: is this older --
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>> this is maker's mark classic. >> michael: okay. >> when i bout it at a liquor store this afternoon, the owner new the whole story, be it's not only a lesson for mitch mcconnell but for all people running, you have to know your brand. they had a perfectly good brand, their viewers were up in arms -- i say viewers -- their drinkers, but they were watching the ads and they backed up. and this unlike the cynicism we have between coke new coke coke classic, they pivoted in a good way. >> michael: i get to keep this right? >> yes. >> michael: that's good. mitch mcconnell premiered his first web ad of the election cycle yesterday. showing president obama holding an awkward call for a democratic to run against him.
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let's take a look. >> obama: we have got congressman john yarmuth in the house. >> i don't think i'm the right person. >> i think i'm a [ inaudible ] type, so the senate really doesn't fit. >> i can never anticipate what is going to push me over the edge. [ inaudible ] >> michael: so now there are reports that mcconnell is going to have an opponent from the tea party, who is a bigger opponent? and what do you think of that crazy ad? >> first for a fellow who voted against universal broadband to put up a web ad that is highly highly ironic. he wanted to get our attention. he didn't want to get kentucky's at attention. >> michael: right. >> so first of all mitch mcconnell has to take care of
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home and be seen as a kentucky senator first and foremost and should a democrat emerge to challenge him, i think you will see a similar kind of thing. he hasn't used his political power in washington, d.c. in order to help the people in kentucky. >> michael: yeah. well, there you have it. christine pelosi come back soon. after the break there are plenty of absurds in politics and we'll talk about the challenges it faces with the founder of the constitutional accountability center right here. compelling true stories. >> jack, how old are you? >> nine. >> this is what 27 tons of marijuana looks like. (vo) with award winning documentaries that take you
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inside the headlines, way inside. (vo) from the underworld, to the world of privilege. >> everyone in michael jackson's life was out to use him. (vo) no one brings you more documentaries that are real, gripping, current.
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♪ >> michael: and now it's time to check with in cenk uygur and "the young turks." and let's see what the jb squad is up to tonight. >> we're going to talk about hamas, and one of the guys from gawker created friends of we'll talk about golf gate with michael hastings who has written one of the best books on press access and the white house.
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and we'll have bill nigh the science guy on again. >> michael: sounds like a great show. thanks, cenk. we will all be watching "the young turks." it is time, to declare victory in the fight for voter rights or does the battle still rage in voter id laws. the civil rights movement of the 1960s, including the march from selma to montgomery lead to the march of 1965. section five of the law requires states and counties to get permission from the federal government before changing any voter rules. a total of nine states are currently subject to section five. in 2006 it was reauthorized for 25 years with overwhelming i bipartisan support, but now a
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constitutional challenge has put this landmark law in the hands of the roberts court. joining us now is doug kendall, the founder and president of the constitutional accountability center. he comes to us from washington, d.c. welcome to "the war room," doug. >> thanks for having me. >> michael: shelby county alabama, has brought the supreme court challenge to the voting rights act. states like alabama, they say shouldn't be singled out. how do you respond to that? >> well, shelby county is about the last -- shelby county alabama is about the last place in the world that has standing to make that argument. they have been found in violation of the voting right's act innumerable times, and the basic response is while things may have gotten better in the south, there is still a significant body of evidence
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both developed by congress in 2006, and then developed over the course of the 2012 election that voter suppression efforts targeted minorities and are alive and well out there in these covered jurisdictions. so the voting right's act is as vital as ever. >> michael: i want to ask you, we were talk about shelby county, alabama, does it have to be a blanket changing of the voting right's act or is there a process where they can go and say we want to be exempt from this now? is there a petition process to get off of this probation? >> yeah, absolutely. there's a process called bailout. which actually the supreme court has made even easier to exercise, which allows jurisdictions covered under this section five of the voting right's act, which requires
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jurisdictions to get rights to change the laws. if you think you are covered inadvertently or an inappropriately at this point, you can bail out of preclearance, and if you show that in fact you haven't discriminated against -- on the basis of race for the last ten years, those petitions are always granted. >> michael: so it's like a parole board in a way. >> it's a way of -- it's a way of constantly adjusting the coverage of the voting right's act and making sure -- there is also a process called bail-in, which if you find a number of violation of stloeting right's act -- the voting rights act covers every place in the united states against discrimination. if you are in an area not covered, yet you continuously
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violate the provisions of the voting rights act, you can actually be bailed in. so you can bail in you can bail out. and the coverage thus of section five which is this critical provision which makes you have to show that you are not discriminating rather than -- than it being the other way around, there's ways to make sure that coverage really gets at the worst actors in the system. >> michael: and the chief justice has said that things have changed in the south and blacks now register and vote as much as whites in many southern states. how do you think the court is going to split on this? >> the first thing i would say is the voting registration figures, and the voting turnout figures reflect that the voting rights act is working. it doesn't show it is outdated. in terms of how the court will
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rule, i think the court had a case that raised the exact same issues before it four years ago. the conservative block including chief justice roberts was definitely skeptical about the act and said some things that make you worry about whether they will strike down this civil rights statute. on the other hand they had the chance to do so four years ago, and they decided not to do that and i think that that gives hope that they could do it again and uphold rather than strike down this absolutely iconic and absolutely vital law. >> michael: here is hoping that the other team punts once again. that would be a good thing. doug kendall, of the constitutional accountability senator, thank you for enlightening us on this very very important amendment. after the break it has hand that transpair lent line that separated the tea party and professional wrestling has finally been reesed.
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brett will join us to mark that historic event. please stick around. ♪
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>> michael: when story pops up involving politics and professional wrestling most news organizations find themselves ham strung because no self-respecting journalist is going to watch the charade that is american politics and pro wrestling. that's what separates "the war room".from the rest of the pack. we have brett erlich, a man who once waited three hours to get an autograph from brutus beef cake. >> i am will tell you from the bottom of my heart that you hosting the show is something that i accept. >> michael: that means the word to me. >> from the world of
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